Hello! Welcome to my blog. Please join me on my expedition!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

It's not cold here!










Bob, my very friendly Winnipeg-ian airplane companion, made me promise to say that! "It's not cold here...it's beautiful!" It is truly beautiful, and only -20 outside. :)

I'm fairly certain your four day weekend has not been as eventful as mine! :) My travel fear almost came true as I sat in the Denver airport waiting to board my flight to Winnipeg. They announced that due to poor weather in Winnipeg, we might have to be diverted to FARGO!!! I felt like I was in a bad movie... Luckily, that did not happen, we landed in Winnipeg on time, and I made it to the train station on time to catch the train to Churchill. Phew...the train only leaves every two days!!!

The train ride was amazing! Like many of you pointed out, we passed through several small towns, often letting one or two people off or on, and some beautiful ecosystems. The Boreal Forest was dense with trees, all covered in white. You could not see far off the tracks. As we headed farther north, the trees thinned and the vistas got wider, due to the greater prevalence of permafrost. And then farther still, most of the trees had branches only on their southern sides. Why do you think that was? Sometimes the train travelled at speeds less than 10 mph due to the instability of the tracks on the permafrost and the amount of snow on the tracks! It definitely was "the scenic route!" We saw a red fox and ptarmagins outside the windows, but no moose or caribou.

Several of the people on my Earthwatch team were on the train as well...one other high school teacher from New York, a doctor from Australia, and, wait for it...the rest of my team all work for Shell Oil!!! They are coming from all over the world, and Shell is paying for their trip. Is studying climate change and making your living on fossil fuels a conflict of interest? Or do we need to find a way for both issues to work together? What are your thoughts? What should I ask them?

I am at the Churchill Northern Studies Center now. Tonight was our first introductory lecture with Dr. Pete and tomorrow we begin sampling. We will be collecting snow cores, analyzing snow crystal shape, and measuring conductivity due to Hudson Bay spray and pH at 11 different sampling sites.
Today I rented snow pants worthy of Arctic conditions and explored the town of Churchill. The Eskimo Museum (they used the word Eskimo, not me) was full of interesting artifacts. I learned that if you are attacked by a polar bear, you should present your forearm to the bear because he will not be able to get his mouth open large enough to fit it. When he tries, you should stab him in the neck. Hopefully that is practical knowledge that I will never need!!! In fact, the likelihood of my seeing a polar bear at this time of year is slim. BUT I did see a female gray wolf today!!! She was amazingly beautiful! Her fur is worth about $1000 so hopefully she will not make herself so visible in the future...
Here are your questions to have ready for Tuesday morning:
1. What should I ask the Shell employees regarding fossil fuels and climate change? See the questions in the above paragraph.
2. What does it mean to create a "baseline of data?" (That is what we are working on in Churchill.)
3. If you were Dr. Pete and had 14 volunteers collecting your research data at 11 different sites, what are some of the variables you would control? How would you prepare us (the data collectors) to do quality work? Be as specific as possible.
Love to hear from you! Be nice to Ms. Duffy...she will take names! :)
Remember...you can respond to me directly on the site, but you MUST turn in your Blog Challenge answers to Ms Duffy on the due date to receive credit!!! NO LATE BLOG CHALLENGES WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR POINTS!!! :)

13 Comments:

At February 15, 2009 at 8:59 PM , Blogger Carey Anderson said...

What an incredible adventure! Very cool that your students have to respond to your blog. I'm jealous.

 
At February 15, 2009 at 11:16 PM , Anonymous 3 - Kellie Rieger said...

1. You should ask the shell empoloyees if climate change is effecting the rate in which we can totllay replace oil with fossil fuel.
2.Baseline data is basic information gathered before a program begins. It is used later to provide a comparison for assessing program impact.
3.If i were Dr. Pete and i had 14 volunteers collecting my research data at 11 different sites,some of the variables i would control would be the tempatures you collect and make sure you are duing it right.I would prepare the data collectors to do quality work by telling you how important it is to the future and how you will be making a difference in the world and that means you have to do everything right.(:

 
At February 16, 2009 at 5:20 PM , Anonymous 2-TREY SENATE said...

1-A.
I THINK IT IS A GOOD IDEA FOR SHELL TO BE ACTIVE IN THE RESEARCH OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND FOSSIL FULES. IT HAS BEEN YEARS OF CONFLICT REGARDING THE OIL COMPANIES AND IT IS ABOUT TIME FOR THEM TO HAVE A GENUINE INTREST AND CONCERN. OBVIOUSILY, BOTH ISSIUES NEED TO WORK TOGETHER SO THE ENVIORMENTOL PROBLEMS IN THE WORLD CAN REWIND TO BE A CLEANER, SAFER PLACE FOR ALL INHABITANTS.
1-B
I WOULD LIKE YOU TO ASK THE SHELL EMPLOYEES,"IS THIS THE FIRST GROUP OF SHELL EMPLOYEES TO GO TO THE ARTICS EDGE TO GATHER DATA FOR THE COMPANY?" IF SO, WHAT TOOK SHELL SO LONG? AND, DO THEY THINK THAT THEIR RESEARCH RESULTS WILL BE A POSITIVE OR NEGITIVE IMPACT?

2.
BASELINE DATA IS BASIC INFORMATION GATHERED BEFORE A PROGRAM BEGINS. IT IS USED LATER TO PROVIDE COMPARISON FOR ASSESSING PROGRAM IMPACT.

3.
IF I WERE DR. PETE, I MIGHT BEGIN BY BRIEFING ALL 14 VOLUNTEERS ON THE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE EXPEDITION. SPECIFIC GUIDLINES WOULD BE HANDED OUT TO EVERYONE AS A GROUP. THE GUIDLINES WOULD INCLUDE ALL INSTRUCTIONS.
IN THE INSTRUCTIONS, I WOULD CONTROL SYNCHRONIZED TIMES FOR ALL VARIABLES OF DATA TO BE TAKEN,THE SIZE OF SAMPLES, AND HOW EACH SAMPLE IS TAKEN AND STORED. HOW THE INFORMATION WILL BE MARKED AND LOGGED. I WOULD ASK ALL VOLUNTEERS TO GATHER AND LOG SEPARATELY, ANY INDETERMINATE BASELINE DATA THAT MAY ALSO BE HELPFUL TO THE EXPEDITIONS RESEARCH.
SPLITING UP THE VOLUNTEERS INTO GROUPS BY EXPERTISE, WOULD ALSO BE HELPFUL.

TREE QUESTION:
I THINK THAT THE TREES THAT WERE FARTHER NORTH GROW THE WAY THEY DO FOR A FEW REASONS. I THINK THAT THE FURTHER NORTH YOU GO, THE ALTITUDE GETS HIGHER, AND IN THE HIGH ALTITUDE THE AIR AND WIND STAYS COLDER ALL YEAR. THE NORTH SIDE OF THE TREES DON'T GET ENOUGH SUN. WITHOUT ENOUGH SUN PERMAFROST NEVER MELTS ENOUGH FOR WATER TO DEVELOPE AND ROOTS TO SPREAD. THE PREVAILING, FREEZING WIND BLOWS INTO THE NORTH SIDE OF THE TREES. THIS MAKES THE BRANCHES ON THE NORTH SIDE BRITTLE AND BREAK OFF. ALSO, THE FREEZING WINDS BEND THE BRANCHES TOWARD THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE TREES.

 
At February 16, 2009 at 6:46 PM , Anonymous 4- Allie Roy said...

1. What should I ask the Shell employees regarding fossil fuels and climate change? See the questions in the above paragraph.
The question I would like to know would be is our gas intake affecting all the animals in the wild, because we all use so much gas?
2. What does it mean to create a "baseline of data?" (That is what we are working on in Churchill.)
To create a baseline of data is when expected losses, as well as future actual losses, are measured.
3. If you were Dr. Pete and had 14 volunteers collecting your research data at 11 different sites, what are some of the variables you would control? How would you prepare us (the data collectors) to do quality work? Be as specific as possible.
If I was Dr. Pete some variables I would control are measuring the exact amount every data collection and also I would prepare you to keep you all interested and I would make sure we were able to see weather patterns.

 
At February 16, 2009 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous 3- Alyssa Wood said...

1. Is studying climate change and making your living on fossil fuels a conflict of interest? What are their ideas on helping to limit fossil fuels?

2. Creating a baseline of data refers to the collection of gathered information towards a topic of research. In your case, this is climate change.

3. Controlled variables: Location, search distance, and items used in the expirements.
To prepare the data collectors in this line of work, I would subject you to the climate to get you rready and create model expirements to get you used to the research taking. This way, data collectors are ready and prepared for the work ahead. Good luck!!

 
At February 16, 2009 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous 1- Kayla Wood said...

1. Is studying climate change and making your living on fossil fuels a conflict of interest? What are their ideas on helping to limit fossil fuels?

2. Creating a baseline of data refers to the collection of gathered information towards a topic of research. In your case, this is climate change.

3. Controlled variables: Location, search distance, and items used in the expirements.
To prepare the data collectors in this line of work, I would subject you to the climate to get you rready and create model expirements to get you used to the research taking. This way, data collectors are ready and prepared for the work ahead.

 
At February 16, 2009 at 11:29 PM , Anonymous 5- Brina Carrier said...

1.What should I ask the Shell employees regarding fossil fuels and climate change? See the questions in the above paragraph.

I think that what you have as a job and what you believe in can be two different things. Just because they work for shell oil doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t concerned for the environment. A job is just a job. If it makes good money, then who cares what your opinions are? If you’re good at it then stick to it! I think it would be interesting to ask them what they think about the environment and about global warming. Maybe they really do care, and are just doing this for a living… or, maybe they really take pride in their opinions and show it by working for an oil company. It would be intriguing to see what they have to say about their job and the current global environment issues.


2.What does it mean to create a "baseline of data?" (That is what we are working on in Churchill.)

I’m guessing (from context clues and somewhat common logical thinking) that a baseline of data is testing the data of what you have to work with so you know where to start, and know which direction to go in (as far as researching and experimenting goes), so to speak.


3.If you were Dr. Pete and had 14 volunteers collecting your research data at 11 different sites, what are some of the variables you would control? How would you prepare us (the data collectors) to do quality work?

One major variable to control would be the amount of each sample collected, to make sure that they all stay relatively the same, so you can get the most accurate data as possible. Another variable to control would be to collect the samples at approximately the same time of day, to avoid any kind of daily weather changes which could alter your data.

 
At February 17, 2009 at 12:56 AM , Blogger mmoore0803 said...

Great hiding place from the Polar Bears ;-)

 
At February 17, 2009 at 1:15 AM , Anonymous 4-Morgan Sears said...

1. A question regarding fossil fuels that I would ask the Shell employees why they are studying climate change in the Arctic? Are they trying to find proof that fossil fuels do not cause global warming?

2. A “baseline of data” is the basic information gathered before a program begins. It is used later to provide a comparison for assessing program impact.

3. If I were Dr. Pete, some variables I would have controlled would be the location, I would make sure to go to the same spot for that particular experiment. I would also have the same tools and procedures used regularly. I would prepare the data collectors to do quality work by assigning each person only one specific task. Therefore that data collector will become a master at that duty, and his results would be less faulty.

 
At February 17, 2009 at 1:22 PM , Blogger monica said...

Hi there, here are the best answers that the classes came up with...
1. Why would you pay for research on climate change when it is generally accepted that burning fossil fuels causes an increase in atmospheric CO2, which results in climate change? If the results of the research being done conclude that fossil fuel use has a negative impact on our environment, will you publish this information even though it is not in your best interest as a petroleum company? What results do you expect from this research - will they benefit your cause?

2. "baseline of data" is the information before the experiment or program begins. It is a starting point to which we can compare our results.

3. Team prep - make sure they have proper training and are knowledgeable about the subject. Warm clothes, mobility, food & shelter. Research tools to collect data - thermometers, etc.
Controlled variables - time, duration, and location of measurements taken.

 
At February 17, 2009 at 7:10 PM , Anonymous 1-Michael Pulley, SICK ALL WEEKEND, COULD NOT DO IT TILL TODAY! said...

1. I have heard that ethanol fuel is worse for the environment then, gas, what are cleaner alternatives to oil and gas, but are not going to cost you an arm and a leg to use?
2. To Collect intitial data then collect more and more and compare them and see how and if it changes from the beginnning.
3. I would make sure they use the same technique so the results would be about the same. I would prepare the data collectors for work by giving them a demo on it then taking to their site and do it there as well then let them collect the data to see if they need any critiquing.

 
At February 18, 2009 at 2:08 PM , Anonymous 5-Emilio Fuentes said...

1)i would ask them what they would do if it was proved that fossil fuels are destroying our atmosphere and they were put nearly out of business
2)Baseline data is basic information gathered before a program begins. It is used later to provide a comparison for assessing program impact.
3)the controlled variables are the time you take the tests/samples and where you take them. i would prepare my crew for equipment breaking down in the field and for the extreme weather. there would be nothing worse than someone getting seriously injured or sick on the trip

 
At February 20, 2009 at 6:59 AM , Anonymous 4-Alana Anderson said...

-You should ask the shell employees reguarding fossil fuels and climate change, what their future plans are. Whether this is a one time deal trip, or if Shell is planning on funding many trips in the future in hopes of getting more information on climate change.
-A baseline of data is the basic information gathered before a program begins. It is used later to provide the program with comparison to help with the impact of the experient.
-If i was Dr. Pete, the variables i would make controlled would be the location fo the site. As long as the site stays consistent, the information gathered will be correct and controlled. I would also assign each one of the 14 volunteers with a different job , so that the quality of the data collected will be perfect. By giving each volunteer their own personal job, they are less likely to make mistakes.

 

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